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Right after buying an used Yamaha XJ600N, I found that the rust in its fuel tank had clogged the fuel filter causing the motorcycle to lose power and until the engine died. The service station cleaned the fuel pump and replaced the fuel filter. One year later, I am worried about the condition of my filter as I don't want it to stop in the middle of a ride again. Is it possible to look at the fuel filter and figure out if needs replacing? Or does it come as a sealed unit that I simply need to replace based on some estimate?

I have done 2000 kilometres after having the filter replaced last year, and have made a conscientious attempt to keep the tank full most of the time. I live in a cold country where it snows in winter, so I only rode it three or four times in winter, but I kept the motorcycle in a relatively warm garage.

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    You could have it checked as preventive maintenance. If there was rust in the tank once, you can be pretty sure it's still going on. Keeping the tank full is a good step, as this does not allow the fuel to absorb as much water. You can also put a fuel stabilizer in the tank to help with that as well. Iso Propyl Alcohol (IPA) based products can help in this matter as well. The only other option you might have is to have the inside of your tank coated to prevent further rust. Once this is done, you shouldn't have a worry about the fuel filter for a long time. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 27 '15 at 22:37
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Yes, you can relatively easily determine if your fuel filter is clogged.

The XJ600 has a vacuum operated fuel pump below the downdraft carb bank.

This is what it looks like. enter image description here

The stock fuel filter is an inline filter and this is what it looks like. enter image description here

As I'm sure you have noticed, the filter is a bit opaque and you can see if it is clogged. It's very easy to replace by simply pulling off the fuel line on either side and doing the revers to install it.

Since it's opaque you should have a good idea of whether it is clogged or not by visual inspection.

You will have to remove the fuel tank to access the area behind the cylinders.

Additionally, the petcock has a fuel filter incorporated into it. There are two screws to remove it from the fuel tank if you flip it upside down.

You can use carb cleaner to clean the fuel screen/filter after removal from the fuel tank. A very simple procedure since it only has two screws holding it in.

Best of luck!

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